Ion Wind Propeller for Drones

An eco-friendly propulsion system for long-flying, stealthier drones.


Inventors at SUNY Oswego developed a technology that resulted in a first-of-its-kind rotational flight using ionic wind technology. The innovation effectively allows a rotor to function as an engine. High-voltage components charge electrodes integrated onto the blades of a propeller. Air molecules around the propeller become charged and are either attracted or repelled by the electrode. The resulting air flow creates an “ionic wind” which turns the propeller and launches the drone.


Background: In 2018 researchers at SUNY Oswego achieved a first-of-its-kind flight driven by ionic wind, which could open a new field of development. The team achieved further unique developments working in collaboration with Romania’s National Institute for Research and Development in Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter.



•       Powerful enough to enable an aircraft to lift off under its own power, allowing for lighter, cheaper drones. 

•   Longer flights with reduced drain on batteries means that drone operators can conveniently and economically complete missions on single flyovers.

•       Less noise and reduced heat signature allow drone operators to monitor areas with decreased risk of detection.



•       Military

•       Agriculture

•       Filming, Arial Photography

•       Mapping/Surveying

•       Infrastructure Inspection


Intellectual Property Summary: Patent pending, PCT/US2019/033413


Stage of Development:

•       TRL 2-3



Licensing Status: Available for licensing

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